In letter to President Obama, Menendez, Lautenberg, Pallone and Holt cite Gulf oil spill as most recent evidence of risk to shorelines
WASHINGTON – Today, New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators and two of the state’s Members of Congress called on the Obama administration to reverse its announced plans to open up the East Coast of the United States to oil drilling. In a letter to President Obama, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank Lautenberg and Reps. Frank Pallone (NJ-6) and Rush Holt (NJ-12) said the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is only the latest example of the real risk drilling poses to coastal communities and the economies they support. Under the administration’s plan, drilling along the coast of Virginia could occur within 100 miles of the Jersey Shore and, eventually, drilling along the coast of Delaware could occur within 10 miles of New Jersey.
“In the wake of the tragic accident, loss of life, and pollution in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, we are even more steadfastly opposed to any offshore drilling that could imperil the environment or economy of coastal New Jersey,” wrote the Members of Congress. “While we appreciate the White House’s announcement that no additional offshore drilling will be authorized until a full investigation of the accident is complete, we urge you to go further and reverse your decision on proposed new offshore oil and gas drilling for the outer continental shelf.
“The spill, and the conduct of companies like BP, raises serious concerns about expanding drilling to areas like the Atlantic seaboard. This catastrophe demonstrates exactly why no new drilling should proceed in any U.S. waters, and certainly not in the Atlantic. This incident exposes the many deficiencies in worker safety, blow out avoidance technology, and oil spill clean-up plans for operations in the outer continental shelf. We simply are not prepared to make our pristine Jersey shoreline the next test case for the oil companies’ experiment in how to maximize profits and minimize regulations.”